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Cross-scale cooperation enables sustainable use of a common-pool resource
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. The Australian National University, Australia.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2019 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 286, no 1913, article id 20191943Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In social-ecological systems (SESs), social and biophysical dynamics interact within and between the levels of organization at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Cross-scale interactions (CSIs) are interdependences between processes at different scales, generating behaviour unpredictable at single scales. Understanding CSIs is important for improving SES governance, but they remain understudied. Theoretical models are needed that capture essential features while being simple enough to yield insights into mechanisms. In a stylized model, we study CSIs in a two-level system of weakly interacting communities harvesting a common-pool resource. Community members adaptively conform to, or defect from, a norm of socially optimal harvesting, enforced through social sanctioning both within and between communities. We find that each subsystem's dynamics depend sensitively on the other despite interactions being much weaker between subsystems than within them. When interaction is purely biophysical, stably high cooperation in one community can cause cooperation in the other to collapse. However, even weak social interaction can prevent the collapse of cooperation and instead cause collapse of defection. We identify conditions under which subsystem-level cooperation produces desirable system-level outcomes. Our findings expand evidence that collaboration is important for sustainably managing shared resources, showing its importance even when resource sharing and social relationships are weak. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 286, no 1913, article id 20191943
Keywords [en]
cooperation, social-ecological system, crossscale interactions, multiscale analysis, common-pool resource, resource management
National Category
Other Social Sciences Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-178217DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2019.1943ISI: 000504857200017Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85073745879OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-178217DiVA, id: diva2:1387178
Available from: 2020-01-20 Created: 2020-01-20 Last updated: 2020-02-05Bibliographically approved

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Ringsmuth, Andrew K.Lade, Steven J.Schlüter, Maja
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